Today I spent more than my average 2 minutes doing Charlotte’s hair. Usually it’s just a side pony on the top of her head, or pigtails if I’m feeling ambitious. Today I did an awesome triple pony tail thing. It took at least 7 minutes.
Let me explain something delicate. I love my daughter. I think she is more beautiful than any 2-year-old to ever walk the planet. But…sometimes when her hair’s not done she looks like a homeless street urchin.
It’s my own fault. She inherited her frizz from me, and her hair just isn’t thick enough yet to make it lie flat. So when I don’t tame her hair, she looks like she has a fuzzy cloud surrounding her head. It’s actually kind of awesome.
Now time for my true confession: the reason I spent 7 minutes on her hair today is because it’s harder to stay mad at her when she looks adorable. So when she asks me for milk 17 times before I even pull her out of her crib, or when she only takes a 30 minute nap and wakes up just as I’m falling asleep, or when she grinds pizza sauce into the carpet…I can just look at my 7 minutes of handiwork and remember that she is too adorable to strangle. Seriously, this is how I stay out of prison.
My sister and I joke that natural selection has caused toddlers to be overwhelmingly adorable as a defense mechanism. All of the ugly toddler genes have been weeded out by parents offing their own kids. Fortunately for Charlotte, thousands of years of this phenomenon have caused her to be overwhelmingly cute. Thus ensuring her survival. Lucky kid.
So here’s a 30 minute meal for you. Who doesn’t love chicken right? This recipe is simple but de-li-cious. I like that it’s not fussy. It’s called Garlic Lime Chicken and doesn’t even call for fresh garlic. Sometimes you just gotta keep it simple. Honestly you won’t miss it. Use a meat thermometer to get your chicken just right. I paired this with some broccoli and mashed potatoes (which is great to drizzle the extra sauce over, by the way).
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 6 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- On a dinner plate, combine all the spices (the first 7 ingredients). Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, then rub spice mixture on both sides of the chicken.
- In a large skillet heat butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Saute chicken uncovered for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes, until both sides are golden brown and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Add lime juice and chicken broth to the pan. Whisk up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add chicken back to the pan and coat thoroughly.
This recipe calls for 6 chicken breasts, but sometimes I use 4 without changing any of the other proportions.
Source: Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely
All growing up we had a piece of paper taped to the inside of our cupboard that had meal ideas listed on it. It had gems on it like Chicken n Broccoli Stuff, Meat n Potato Stuff, “chicken patties and mashed potatoes” (my mom’s favorite meal to this day, I think), french dip, and spaghetti. Most of the list is in my mom’s handwriting, but a few toward the bottom were written by my older siblings. My favorite part is on the lower left hand side where it says, “Keich.” Then queich. Then quiech…it doesn’t say quiche anywhere. My sister Nikki is probably one of the smartest people I know, but she can’t spell worth crap. We’ve got the Keich to prove it.
So I think it’s kind of funny that she writes novels. Although it shouldn’t be funny, because the ability to tell a good story is no doubt in a completely separate part of your brain than the part that makes you a good speller. I’d take the storytelling gene any day.
Her years of hard work are finally starting to pay off. Last weekend her manuscript won the Grand Prize for all categories at a writing conference she attended. She had agents hunting her down after she won the award, so hopefully a publishing gig is on the horizon. And then you can all experience the amazingness that is her YA romantic suspese Shatter. Want a teaser? You know you do:
Kiss a guy?
I’d had sushi once, which felt like eating a pair of lips. I assumed kissing would be similar only without the ginger and wasabi sauce.
Did I want to kiss a guy? Ginger and wasabi sauce were the only good parts of sushi.
I still giggle every time I read this. You can finish reading the first few pages of the book on Nikki’s blog over here. A jacket-cover description can be found here. I’ve read the whole book, and can tell you that it is not only going to be published one day, but eventually someone is going to buy the movie rights for it, and we can all sit back and watch the awesomeness unfold. (Slumber party at my house, you’re all invited.) Congrats Nikki! You’re amazing!
Now let’s talk Keich. I used to think the best part of quiche was the ham and the crust, but that was before I tried adding asparagus. Talk about awesome. Add in the goat cheese and I can say with conviction that this is the best quiche I have ever eaten. Never thought I would say that about something meatless, but it’s true. It was really easy to put together. Change your life today!
Asparagus, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Quiche
- 1 bunch asparagus
- olive oil
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes, seeded
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups half and half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus. Chop the spears into bite-size pieces. Layer the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the asparagus is fork-tender. (You can also steam the asparagus if you want.)
- Lay out your pie crust into a deep 9-inch tart pan, pressing the crust to the very top edge and discarding any remainder. (You can also use a a 9-inch pie pan. Use a fork to press the crust.)
- Place the asparagus, tomatoes and green onion into the unbaked pie shell. Layer the goat cheese on top of the vegetables.
- Beat the eggs, half and half, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together for about one minute using a mixer or blender.
- Pour the egg mixture on top of the vegetables and goat cheese. Sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese.
- Bake 35 to 45 minutes until the quiche is set in the center.
Source: A Bountiful Kitchen
So now that we’ve officially decided to move there are about a billion things to take care of. Finding a new place to live, choosing a moving company, not to mention packing. My good friend Sarah texted me earlier today asking me if I was stressed about the move. I said no, of course not, I’m totally in denial. Then she told me that before I responded she had said to her husband, “Karen’s probably not stressed, she’s just going to pretend it’s not happening until the last possible minute.” I’m a procrastinator, what can I say.
Yet somehow I can always find motivation to make delicious sandwiches. Let’s break these babies down: delicious artisan bread toasted with butter, then smeared with goat cheese, topped with garlicky roasted tomatoes, sprinkled with herbs, drizzled with a balsamic reduction and then topped with Parmesan crisps. That’s right, Parmesan crisps. Why don’t they sell these? I was eating them like potato chips. I really don’t think I need to say anything else to sell this sandwich to you. Go eat one. Then come help me pack boxes.
Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 2 pinches sugar
- 6 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 6 small slices crusty bread (I used ciabatta)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cups Parmesan cheese
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley)
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and spread them out evenly on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Brush mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tomatoes are slightly shrunk and softened.
- In a small saucepan pour 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When the vinegar begins to boil, stir constantly until the vinegar reduces by half. It should have a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter on both sides of the bread slices. (Although now that I think about it, why bother melting it? Just spread softened butter on...) Place slices in the skillet and grill until evenly browned. Flip bread and continue to grill until both sides are browned. Transfer bread to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a very thin layer on the hot skillet. Grill until cheese is crispy and just barely browned. Remove to a plate and break into pieces.
- To assemble, smear one side of the bread with goat cheese. Top with 2-3 slices of roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with chopped herbs. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction. Top with Parmesan crisps.
Source: Cookin’ Canuck